fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447005938518 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- +447035995645 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Jones Hills" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2009 20:42:40 +0100
Subject: Concerning Your Family ( this is important )
I am Jones Hills the credit manager of SNS Bank License Office U.K with headquarters located in the NETHERLANDS. I have a personal proposal to discuss about a late family members Fixed account in the bank, Please contact me through email or you can give me your personal phone number with your full names so that i can give you a call, but if you are really interested to know more kindly get back to me as soon as possible..
SNS Bank License Office
United Kingdom Office.
Office:..... +44 700 593 8518
Fax: ...... +44 700 593 8610
Direct line: +44 703 599 5645
Cell: .......+44 703 599 5333